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The creation of a new cutting-edge life sciences centre that would bring new treatments to patients faster moved a step closer yesterday.

East London’s Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Barts Health NHS Trust have signed an agreement to buy land in Whitechapel to support the joint initiative.

The 40,000 sqm will support will support research, innovation and education activities in life sciences, drawing on QMUL’s expertise in specialist areas such as genomics and the clinical capability of the country’s largest NHS trust.


This comes in the week the Government published its Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, which includes recommendations to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support the growth of life sciences clusters and networks, and to improve collaboration with the NHS.

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The agreement brings together the country’s largest group of NHS hospitals and its extensive specialist services and the world-leading reputation of the university in life sciences research and education. The centre will serve a population in east London rich in diversity.

Residents will be able to take advantage of new techniques in advanced therapies including genetic medicine.

Principal of QMUL Prof Simon Gaskell said: “[This] unlocks a major opportunity for both organisations to work together in the interests of delivering better health outcomes for our local populations. We can now move forward on developing our plans for a world-class life sciences centre at Whitechapel.”

Alwen Williams, chief executive of Barts Health NHS Trust said: “Together we want to lead the way in detecting, preventing and managing health conditions and diseases. With many of the world’s population groups on our doorstep and the expertise our organisations bring to the table, we’re excited about the benefits for our community and beyond.”